Victoria's Secret Model Sara Sampaio Speaks Out After Lui Magazine Allegedly Publishes Nude Cover without Her Consent
The model posted a lengthy Instagram statement about mistreatment on set
Right after Christy Turlington Burns spoke out about mistreatment within the modeling industry, Victoria’s Secret Angel Sara Sampaio has decided to go public with her own personal account of harassment. Sampaio alleges that French publication Lui magazine pressured her to pose nude on set and published topless photos of her that were in violation of her “no nudity” contract.
The autumn issue of the men’s magazine featured the 26-year-old, shot by photographer David Bellemere, wearing white briefs and a furry shrug that exposed her nipples on the cover. Sampaio posted a note on Instagram detailing her experience on set and revealed that the adult entertainment magazine published the cover, which has since been taken down from social media, despite knowing her disapproval of the final images.
She explained that she laid out very clear ground rules before ever stepping onto set. “I had agreed to shoot the cover feature of Lui‘s autumn issue, under the condition that there was NO NUDITY,” she wrote. “My agency and I insisted on having a clear agreement in place to protest myself in order to control the choice I made around not being shot nude.”
According to Sampaio, she continued to be “aggressively pressured” to pose nude on set. “Throughout the shoot day, I needed to constantly defend myself and reiterate my boundaries with no nude images, making sure I covered myself as best as I could,” she recalled.
When it was time to review the images, she felt parts of her body were overly exposed and she expressed that she didn’t want those images published. “The magazine lied and provided to publish the cover image of me with nudity, which was in clear violation of our agreement.”
Lui is often touted as the French version of Playboy. The first issue was published in 1963 and was eventually relaunched in 2013 featuring A-list stars including Rihanna, Gisele Bündchen, Alessandra Ambrosio, Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, Jourdan Dunn, Carolyn Murphy and Joan Smalls, all who chose to pose topless or nude within the editorial. Monica Bellucci was featured semi-clothed.
Sampaio explained that she is working with her agency and attorney to “pursue legal action” against the publication. “I want to do what I can to prevent this from happening to me again, and to others.”
Lui magazine has not replied to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
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She decided to tell her story today to let every model and woman know, “They have the right to make their own choices about their body and image.”
This wasn’t the first time she was bullied into exposing herself more than she was comfortable with. She said she was “pressured” to pose nude before this instance.
“On many occasions where the shoot was to not have nudity, I would arrive on set and the photographer or stylist would pressure, cajole or demand that I pose nude because I had done it in the past. I was bullied,” she shared. “Many times, I was showed nude images of myself as examples to coerce me into posing nude, and whenever I stood my ground and refused, I was criticized and judged as being difficult.”
She concluded her message by saying, “As models and as women, we need to stand together and demand the respect we deserve. We have the right to make our own individual choices about our bodies, our image, and our lives.”
What do you think of Sampaio’s powerful statement?